The service of two football men in Mayo has been recognised this year by the Mayo Football League. Both Donal Benson, Swinford, and Aiden King, Westport, have been announced recently as the inaugural winners of the Henry Downes Service to Football award for 2012.
Padraig McHale, chairman Mayo Football League, stated, “I would like to congratulate the inaugural nominees Donal Benson and Aiden King for this prestigious award. They are certainly worthy recipients as both have given a lifetime of service to the game through their respective clubs and are highly respected within the county and beyond. It is fitting that an award named after such a great servant is bestowed upon two gentlemen of the game.”
These awards were introduced this year to honour the memory of Henry Downes who served as chairman of the Mayo League from 1959 to 1989 and left a lasting legacy in the county. The awards are given out to people who have also left a lasting contribution to football in Mayo.
Donal Benson has been a huge figure in the development of Swinford Soccer club, serving in a number of roles right through the club from the grassroots through to team manager and as an official.
Aiden King has had a similar history with Westport United where he has served as a club officer, team manager, league delegate, fundraiser, and whatever else the club has needed him for over the years.